An Overview of the Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Grantmaking Process
1. Learn from the Community Profile: Continuous
Komen Virginia Blue Ridge granting strategy is guided by our Community Profile. The Community Profile is a needs assessment of our service area designed to help us better understand the state of breast health and breast cancer services within our service area. This assessment determines the priorities of our Affiliate, and grantmaking is one way that our Affiliate can address these priorities. To learn more about the Community Profile and the priorities the Affiliate is currently addressing through our grantmaking, click here.
2. Develop the Request for Applications (RFA): August through September
Komen Virginia Blue Ridge invests in nonprofit organizations through our community grants program to provide an array of breast health and breast cancer services with an aim to create seamless systems of care for medically underserved women and men living in our Virginia Blue Ridge-countyservice area. Grant applications must address our priorities and fall into one of the funding areas as indicated in the Community Profile.
3. Solicit applications: October through December
The RFA is distributed widely to all potential applicants in our service area. Wide distribution is essential in order to make the grant process competitive. Our Affiliate holds two grant writing workshops to help potential applicants better respond to our RFA.
4. Reviewing applications: January through February
Grants are reviewed by Affiliate staff to ensure all applications comply with the granting criteria listed in the RFA. For example to verify the non-profit status of applying agencies or to ensure the project is specific to breast health.
The Grants Committee Chair selects an independent review panel made up of volunteers from the community to read and score the applications. Individuals with knowledge or background in grant writing or reviewing, nonprofit management, finance, medicine, public health or related fields and breast cancer survivors are considered to serve as volunteer members of this group. The panel members review, score, and rank the applications. The review panel then convenes to discuss and consider the applications as a group in order to recommend a grant slate for funding. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge staff and Board members are NOT involved in the scoring and ranking of applications. Each reviewer receives training so they may better understand the community needs and funding priorities identified in the Community Profile.
5. Approve and award the grants: February through March
Once the independent peer review panel has finalized their recommendations, the ranked list of applications (slate of grants) is submitted to the Komen Virginia Blue Ridge Board of Directors for approval at their Virginia Blue Ridge Board Meeting. The Board has authority only to accept or reject the entire slate; they are not allowed to remove individual grants from the slate. If the funding slate is rejected, the entire slate is then set back to the independent peer review panel to address the concerns of the Board. If the slate is approved, grants are awarded in rank order to as many applicants as funding allows. Komen Virginia Blue Ridge is not an endowed foundation, as such all the money that is granted out each year was raised during the previous fiscal year. In March we notify applicants of funding decisions. Please click here for a current list of funded organizations.
6. Manage and monitor the grants: Grant Cycles run April 1 to March 31
The Affiliate closely monitors all grantees to guarantee the awarded funds are used as intended and NOT used outside the scope of our promise to save lives and end breast cancer. This monitoring includes 6-month and final reports and site visits with each grantee.